Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-27) will not seek a another term in Trenton, according to multiple media reports.
Jasey, who was first elected in 2007 after serving eight years on the South Orange-Maplewood school board, adds to a growing list of New Jersey lawmakers that will not seek office again in 2023—four State Senators and 11 members of the Assembly. All 120 seats are up for election this year.
Jasey’s decision comes as redistricting moved her from to the 28th to the 27th legislative district. The 27th district lost its Morris County portions and instead shifted north, combining Livingston, Millburn, Roseland, and West Orange with Montclair and Clifton from the 34th district. The 28th now consists of South Orange, Maplewood and Hillside replacing Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, and Nutley to go with Newark and Irvington.
Changing of the Guard
The influential chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, Jasey was elected 16 years ago special election convention to replace Assemblyman Mims Hackett, a Democrat who resigned after his arrest on bribery charges.
The 71-year-old’s decision continues a changing of the guard of what is now the 28th legislative district. State Sen. Renee Burgess was elected in a special election after Ron Rice stepped down in August of last year after 35 years in Trenton. Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker is expected to run for office as well.
Speculation on Replacement
Speculation on who will run with Burgess and Tucker is expected to center around Maplewood and attempts to geographical balancing a ticket that has representatives from Irvington and Newark. Among the names that have been floated include Maplewood Township Committeewoman Jamaine Cripe; former Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee; Deputy Essex County Clerk Garnet Hall; and former Maplewood Township Committeewoman India Larrier, and South Orange Village Trustees Bobby Brown. The choice of a Maplewood lawmaker for the Assembly would be the first time that city would send a representative since 1965.
Jasey is the lastest North Jersey lawmaker to announce that she will not seek re-election as the 15 lawmakers (so far) have decided to retire or seek other office rather than attempt to return to Trenton.
State Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho last week shocked political observers when he announced that he would not seek re-election, just weeks after announcing his intention to do so. Fellow 24th Legislative District colleagues Assemblyman Parker Space and Hal Wirths had previously announced that they would not be returning to office. But Space said he would now seek the party’s nomination for State Senate.
And just last Friday, Assemblywoman DeAnne DeFuccio (R-39) announced that she has decided not to seek re-election with running mates Assemblyman Robert Auth and State Sen. Holly Schepisi after announcing that she would just a week earlier.
Besides the upheaval in the 24th, other North Jersey lawmakers that will not be on the ballot this November include State Sen. Nick Sacco (D-32) and Assembly members Kevin Rooney (R-40), Angelica Jimenez (D-32), and Pedro Mejia (D-32). Other lawmakers not returning include State Sens. Jean Stanfield (R-8) and Christopher Connors (R-9) as well as Assembley members Dan Benson (D-14) and Sadaf Jaffer (D-16),
Eyes on 27th, 34th, 31st
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33) is running for the newly redrawn State Senate seat in the 32nd Legislative District. Still to be decided for Dems is the State Senate seat in the 27th and 34th. State Sens. Richard Codey (D-27) and Nia Gill (D-34) have been drawn into the new 27th. The former governor is expected to run while Gill’s decision has not been publicly decided.
As for the 34th, Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake is reportedly eyeing a State Senate campaign that would leave an Assembly seat open next to Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, who was redrawn from the 28th.
Additionally, health issues that State Sen. Sandra Cunningham is dealing with have raised the possibility that she will not run and result in a new representative in Hudson County’s 31st Legislative District.